Rick and Morty (Season 5): A Rickconvenient Mort Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of Rick and Morty, A Rickconvenient Mort, the Sanchez family finds love in a familiar looking environmental hero and hopeless places.
At the start of the episode, Rick (voiced by Justin Roiland) and Morty (also voiced by Roiland) are snagging their custom-made t-shirts to go on a wild party tour across planets that are about to face cataclysmic apocalypses. However, Morty’s entire direction in this episode changes when acid rain begins to shower the Earth and an environmental superhero named Planetina (voiced by Alison Brie) arrives. As some who watched Captain Planet when I was really young, it was a blast to see Rick and Morty poke fun at it. From how Planetina is just so blatant and undying about saving the environment that she takes every opportunity to tell Morty about things harmful to the environment to her eventually turning herself into her own version of Captain Pollution that kills people to save Mother Nature, this series continues to nail parody.
This episode even hilariously turns the diverse group of kids that can summon Planetina with their elemental rings into a bunch of adult misers that view her as a marketable cash cow. This is really where things take a big turn since it’s where Morty really springs into action. We’ve seen Morty be in different relationships throughout the series and take more of a leadership role in more recent episodes. Morty’s relationship with Planetina hits differently though because it feels more real. The song that plays throughout their romantic montage isn’t jokey. Planetina really takes Morty seriously and while their relationship is definitely in its honeymoon phase the whole time, that doesn’t take away from how it affects Morty. He’s really invested in Planetina and takes things to a crazy and gruesome place in order to keep their relationship alive.
The whole Morty/Planetina relationship takes a predictably bad turn when her group of misers try to separate her from Morty. The second that Morty is able to steal the fire ring from Eddie (voiced by Steve Buscemi), you know things are about to get brutal in a way that’s all too fitting for this series. It’s really great that we’re seeing Morty turn into Rick for the right reasons and not just because he doesn’t care about things. Sure, his reasons for killing people in his way like he does here are for generally selfish reasons, but it’s for love and it’s great that his arc of becoming more confident and self-assured is finally reaching its climax. It’s mind-blowing to watch him collect all the rings and save Planetina considering how weak and frail he was when we first met him, but it comes at a grave cost.
This storyline also surprisingly does a lot for Beth (voiced by Sarah Chalke) as we see her more as a parent with how she disapproves of Morty and Planetina’s relationship. Just as we know it, Beth knows that this relationship is just temporary and acts accordingly in not letting Morty ruin his life over it. Morty eventually comes to realize his relationship with Planetina isn’t meant to last when he watches Planetina kill people to save the Earth and it actually ends in a heartwarming yet devastating manner. Beth comforting Morty is a great character moment for her since we never really get to watch her be motherly. With the crying Morty flower sculpture being a great visual for the moment, this storyline is great showing of the talented storytelling that can easily be found in this series amongst the wild sci-fi chaos.
As for the B-plot of Rick taking Summer (voiced by Spencer Grammer) instead of Morty on his grand, sex-filled end of the world tour, it’s fine. It’s got some good moments of Rick breaking his rules with Summer by getting attached to an alien named Daphne (voiced by Jennifer Coolidge) and then Summer teaching him a lesson in a way that Rick would do. This small storyline definitely continues season four’s theme of Rick starting to be a loser and having to come to grips with not always being in control. However, it’s disappointing that this is the only thing continuing from season four. Maybe I’m just too hung up on that ending, but it was just so great and the idea that Roiland and Dan Harmon talked about it having stakes in futures seasons made it even more special. So, it’s not like there’s no reason to be annoyed about them just kind of doing nothing with it and bringing out these filler storylines instead.
A Rickconvenient Mort delivers more solid sci-fi shenanigans that send Rick and Summer on a fun planet-hopping adventure while Beth and Morty actually go through some strong character growth, but it leaves you wondering if there’s more to this season. With it not having much of a thematic direction and continually leaving its tantalizing season four storyline resolutions in the dark, it’s hard to say that this season has lived up to the hype.